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Thesis Project


A thesis project contains many distinct smaller tasks that combine to form one large sum. Thesis projects usually take up to a year to complete, and they include idea development, research, writing, revisions, and defense.

In the idea development stage, one endeavors to come up with a thesis topic that can add something new and worthwhile to the academic field. In a literature thesis, for example, one may offer a new interpretation of a Shakespearean play, and in a history thesis, one may draw new lines of cause and effect between several distinct historical events. One's major professor can usually identify whether or not an idea will produce a strong thesis, so one should communicate closely with that professor before advancing to the next stage.

The second stage is research. For thesis projects, one pursues all conceivably available research and stops at nothing to discover the right information. Research for thesis projects may include reading vast numbers of books and journals; interviewing experts in the subject; or conducting primary research, such as traveling to an archaeological dig to gather information there.

In the writing process, one synthesizes all the usable information gathered in the research stage and maneuvers it to support the thesis's hypothesis. One should not simply leave out the information that disagrees with the hypothesis; rather, one should bring it up and interact with it in the thesis, explaining to the reader why that disagreeing source does not threaten the thesis's idea.

Students will work very closely with their major professors during the revision stage. The professors will point out weaknesses or lacunae in the argument and will help the student figure out how to overcome those.

Finally, the thesis project usually requires a defense before several people who know a great deal about the field. The student defends his or her decisions about the thesis's idea and answers any questions the experts may have. Students should study carefully for their thesis defenses and should work with their professors to prepare for the questions that the experts are likely to ask.


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